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Or Trent, who like some earth-born giant spreads.
upon that account have feigned Whose bad condition yet it doth
retain, “thirty rivers running into it,
Oft tossed with his storms, which « and likewise so many kinds of
therein still remain. “fish swimming in it." However, this notion might very well be And the Medway and the Thame adopted in poetry.
are joined together, as they are Mole &c. So Spenser, st. 32.
married in Spenser. I wonder
that Milton has paid no particular And Mole, that like a nousling mole compliment to the river flowing
doth make His way still under ground, till by. Cambridge (this exercise Thamis he o'ertake.
being made and spoken there) See the same account in Camden's
as Spenser has done, st. 34. Surrey. Or Severn swift &c.
Thence doth by Huntingdon and We shall have a fuller account of
My mother Cambridge, whom as this in the Mask. Or rocky Avon, with a crown Spenser more largely, st. 31. He doth adorn, and is adorn'd of it But Avon marched in more stately
With many a gentle Muse, and path,
many a learned wit. Proud of his adamants, with which 91. I rather think Milton conhe shines
sulted Drayton's Polyolbion. It is And glisters wide, as als of wondrous
hard to say in what sense, or in Bath And Bristow fair, which on his waves
this introduction of he builded hath.
the rivers was to be applied to the Or sedgy Lee, this river divides subject. or Trent, &c. See the Middlesex and Essex. Spenser Polyolb. s. xii. vol. iii. p. 906. thus describes it, st. 29.
And thirty several streames, from
many a sundry way The wanton Lee that oft doth lose
Unto her greatness shall their wat'ry Or coaly Tine, Spenser describes Indented meads. Indent, in this it by the Picts' Wall, st. 36.
sense and context, in Sylvester's ancient hallowed Dee; so Spenser, Du Barlas, D. iii. W. 1. st. 39.
Our silver Medway, which doth And following Dee, which Britons deepe indent long ygone
The flowerie mcdowes of my native Did call divine, that doth by Chester
And Drayton speaks of " creeks See Lycidas too, ver. 55. Or indenting the land." Polyolb. s. i. Humber loud &c. So Spenser or sullen Mole, &c. at Mickleham speaks of this Scythian king, and in Surrey thé Mole during the of his being drowned in the
summer appears to sink through river, st. 38.
its sandy bed into a subterraneous And nam'd the river of his wretched
current. Milton alludes to it in one of his religious disputes.
Or sullen mule that runneth underneath,
[The rest was prose.]
On the Morning of Christ's Nativity.
I. THIS is the month, and this the happy morn, Wherein the Son of heav'n's eternal King, - To make the word Gift, like - drowned in Humber." Elegies, “ the river Mole in Surrey, to vol. iv. p. 1244. Or Medway
under the bottom of a long smooth; the smoothness of the line, and so to start up and to Medway is characterised in Spen“ govern the word presbytery, ser's Mourning Muse of Thestylis. 6. &c."
Animadv. Rem. Def. Pr. W.i. 92. -guilty of maiden's
The Medwaies silver streames
That wont so still to glide, death; Sabrina, see Comus, 827.
Were troubled now and wroth, -Ancient hallowed Dee. We have isgov udwie &c. in Apollonius The royal towers of Thames imRhodius and Theocritus; but ply Windsor Castle, familiar to Milton is not classical here. Milton's view, and to which he Dee's divinity was Druidical, and frequently makes allusions. T. is first mentioned by Gyraldus Warton. Cambrensis, from the popular * To the title of this Ode we traditions, in 1188. -or Humber have added the date, which is loud &c.; the Scythian king, prefixed in the edition of 1645, Humber, landed in Britain 300 Composed 1629, so that Milton years before the Roman invasion, was then twenty-one years old. and was drowned in this river by He speaks of this poem in the Locrine, after conquering King conclusion of his sixth Elegy to Albanact. So Drayton, Polyolb. Charles Deodati : and it was $. viii, vol. ii.p. 796. Drayton has probably made as an exercise at made a most beautiful use of this Cambridge; and there is not tradition in his Elegy “Upon only great learning shown in it, “ three Sons of the Lord Sheffield but likewise a fine vein of poetry.
Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
Say heav'nly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
1. This is the month, &c.] The Et subito elisos ad sua fana Deos. sixth Elegy to his friend Deodate See st. xix.xxvi. appears to have been sent about
The oracles are dumb, &c. &c. the close of the month December. Deodate had enquired how he The rest of the Ode chiefly conwas spending his time. Milton sists of a string of affected conanswers, v. 81.
ceits, which only his early youth,
and the fashion of the times, can Paciferum canimus coelesti semine
But there is a dignity regem, Faustaque sacratis sæcula pacta li. and simplicity in st. iv. « No bris;
war, or battle's sound, &c." Vagitumque Dei, et stabulantem worthy the maturest years,
and paupere tecto
the best times. Nor is the poetry Qui suprema suo cum patre regna colit;
But peaceful was the Stelli parumque solum, modulantes- “ night, &c." an expression or que æthere turmas.
two excepted, unworthy of MilThe concluding pentameter of ton. T. Warton. the paragraph points out the best 5. Sages] The prophets of part of this ode.
the Old Testament. T. Warton,
of st. v.
Hath took no print of the approaching light,
And join thy voice unto the Angel quire,
I. It was the winter wild, While the heav'n-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies ;
23. The star-led wizards) Wise this hath touched thy lips, and
So Spenser calls the an- thine iniquily is taken away, and cient philosophers, the antique thy sin purged. In his Reason wizards, F. Q. iv. xii. 2. And he of Church Government our ausays that Lucifera's kingdom was thor has another beautiful allu. upheld by the policy,
sion to the same passage, which And strong advizement of six wisards we quoted in a note upon the old.
Paradise Lost, i. 17.-" that eterThat is, six wise counsellors. “ nal Spirit who can enrich with Ibid. i. iv. 12, 18. See also “ all utterance and knowledge, Comus, v.872. (24.) prevent them,
66 and sends out his Seraphim, come thither, before them. T. " with the hallowed fire of his Warton.
“ altar, to touch and purify the 28. From out his secret altar lips of whom he pleases." As touch'd with hallow'd fire.) Allud- Mr. Pope's Messiah is formed ing to Isaiah vi. 6, 7. Then flew upon passages taken from the one of the Seraphims unto me, prophet Isaiah, he very properly having a live coal in his hand, invocates the same divine Spirit. which he had taken with the tongs
-O thou my voice inspire, from of the altar. And he laid
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, with fire.
Nature in awe to him
With her great Master so to sympathize :
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow,
The saintly veil of maiden white to throw,
She crown'd with olive green, came softly sliding
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing, 50
32. Nature in awe to him, &c.] 52. Perhaps Dr. Newton's obHere is an imitation of Petrarch's jection is too nice. Roman third Sonnet.
phraseology however, by which Era 'l giorno, ch' al sol si scoloraro
he would excuse the expression Per la pieta del suo fattore i rai; strike a peace, is here quite out Quand'i fui preso, &c.
of the question. It is not
J. Warton. league or agreement of peace 52. She strikes an universal between two parties that is inpeace] The expression is a little tended. A quick and universal inaccurate, Peace to strike a diffusion is the idea.
It was peace : but otherwise it is classi- done as with a stroke. T. Warcal, fædus ferire.